I'm finding out where my problem areas are as a rider. It is for sure that I have some re-learning to do. Here was today's check points:
Seat = Meaning butt in proper accord with saddle she said pretty darned good. So keeping your tail in the air, a little curve to the lower back really made a difference for me obviously.
Balance = She said that I do not actually have a balance issue...more on that later.
Head (mine) = "Jacke quit looking at the horse, look up, move your eyes, don't drop your chin, Jacke look where you are heading, not where you are going, pick a destination and shift your eyes, and then your body there, anticipate!" Only to be repeated again, and again....and again. But Sandy is really nice about it.
Shoulders = bring them back (this reminded me of the laser beam shooting from my chest remark which was spot on).
Diagonal = Without looking I don't have a clue.....I know when I'm on the wrong one by how discombobulated the ride becomes and that it is all falling apart, but don't know how to put myself posting right from the start. This will take a lot of work.
Hands = My hands are one of the biggest problems I have. She said she has never seen anyone so reactive with their hands, fidgety with the reins. If I get a grade on it today I maybe went from F to C by the end of the hour.
Her overall opinion = is that Phebes is not so much my real problem. She said that I was the one lacking confidence in my riding, and I'm communicating these anxieties to Phebes because as soon as anything goes haywire my reins get shorter, and shorter, and shorter, or I react with my hands which is jolting to Phebes. I don't breath, which I knew. I hold my breath and have to force myself to breath and get the tension out of my body. A friend of mine that I ride with from time to time told me that most of my trouble with Phebes is between "my" ears. Lookin' like that is pretty dead on. Am I down about that? Nope! I see the future and that my becoming a more solid rider will give Phebes more confidence in my leadership. The exercises we do will help us to communicate with each other.
The man who did Phebes foundation training for ground manners as an eighteen month old BRAT horse was there today for this session. He and Sandy told me that I've done a really good job with Phebes overall. Daryl Boggs is a really good horse trainer, and he saved Phebes from an uncertain future by teaching her some manners, so I took that as a very big compliment.
As for Phebes today? I anticipated her spooking and being pretty rattled by the new environment. It had been over three years since she'd been to their place. I hand walked her around the arena twice, got on board and away we went. She was outstanding! I was so proud of her.
Doug bought me some cones to work on bending exercises, and put me some poles out to trot over. I may need to do some reconfiguring of where my round pen is and get it out of the way to make more room for working out there.
We are going to take lessons as weather permits, and at least long enough to get some of this engrained in my brain / muscle memory. Once we've accomplished this, I will take it back out to the trail and see how we do.
KYTITA ~ E.G.
Discipline: LD/Endurance, CMO, Trail Rider, Cartoonist, Writer, Co-Director/ Green Bean Endurance
Favorite Links for training, gear, and memberships!
- National Association of Competitive Mounted Orienteering
- HOW TO CMO
- What is CMO?
- Old Dominion Endurance Rides
- Renegade Hoof Boots
- Riding vs. Racing a discussion with the Duck.
- Trumbull Mountain's INTRO TO ENDURANCE RIDING
- Principles of Conditioning
- Conditioning the endurance horse by SERA
- Short Article: Feeding & Training the Endurance Horse
- Feeding the Endurance Horse, Swedish Author
- Preventing Dehydration In the Endurance Horse, Ontario Competitive Trail Riding Association
- Jim Holland's fantastic training links here!
- South Eastern Distance Rider's Association